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Old 11-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #21
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I think having fun is job #1. "Cushy Job" doesn't sound stressful to me. If so, working, spending ("living it up"), and staying consistent with the ER plan is quite acceptable.
Well, it's only cushy in financial way. The job is stressful b/c my boss is, well, is like the boss character in The Devil Wears Prada movie. Currently, I am trying very hard to put up with him until I retire on my own term and time.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:44 AM   #22
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robnplunder, I'm 20 years younger than you (and, coincidentally, about 20 years from being FI), but I absolutely expect to do something like that once my time has come. Once FI, if I don't hate my job by then, maybe I'll just keep working for a while and treat myself to some luxuries I'm currently denying myself. I'm thinking nicer used car, bespoke suit and shirts, hand-made shoes, Brioni ties, big-screen TV, fancy dining, posh travel etc. Stuff I don't really need, and will probably never have the budget for in retirement either, but that I'd like to have tried at least once.
I could of course afford some of it today, but it would severely delay becoming FI, and that's my #1 priority for the next two decades (or however long it will take).
I guess it will depend how much I dread being at work in my 50s. If I feel that I'm wasting my life in the office, I'll walk away with no regrets in my off-the rack shoes and suit, drive my used Toyota to my modest home, and watch a ballgame for free on my old laptop via an Internet streaming site.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:54 AM   #23
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Since we are waiting for a work event (LBO kind of thing) and feel we are set for our dollar goal now.......

We are buying some things now we will use in retirement. Feel more comfortable getting them now while income is still flowing plus we can enjoy them now as well. This would include, upgraded boat, third ATV for cabin and snow mobile. The big one will be to trade travel trailer for motor home to snow bird.

Not the same a s travel or going to expensive dinners........
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:23 AM   #24
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Speaking of travel, I had the fortune to work on and off, and 20-30 hrs/week at that, for 9 years before I threw in the towel for good. Meanwhile, my wife had more than 4 weeks of vacation due to seniority at her megacorp.

So, we traveled for quite a bit prior to retirement, but we did not splurge. We figured we would continue this into retirement so we were planning for the long run. We stayed at small family-run inns or budget chains like Ibis. A couple of times, we did stay in more expensive places, like right off the Arc de Triomphe on Champs-Élysées, one night in London, or that time in Monaco, but only for 1 night or 2 each. We want to stretch our budget, so we can travel more. As long as we had a comfortable bed and a clean bathroom, other things mattered little as we were out and about and not stayed in the hotel anyway.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:25 AM   #25
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DW and I have ramped up vacation spending once her parents no longer needed her care. That had reduced her free time to travel plus being more than a couple of hours away made everybody nervous. That period went on almost 6 years and it's been over for the last 3 (or so). In that time it became obvious to me that even if I continued saving 40-50% of my gross income, it had a relatively minor effect on our NW. It was only increasing the size of my children's inheritance.

I've been a OMY-er for several years. We have a prety nice lifestyle even though we've lived below our means for many decades. I've looked at every calculator I can find. I-ORP and FireCalc are the ones I like best and they both agree that I can retire now with an after tax income slightly higher than what I have now.

At this point I've pretty much opened the gates on travel. What I've found is that DW balks at going on overseas trips more than twice per year. She has about the same tolerance for domestic trips that don't involve our son or her sister. So, I am still saving about 25% of my gross.

I don't see how any reduction in spending now, even if I actually did retire (and I still might this year), would improve my standard of living later. Our kids have complained about all the traveling that we are doing now that we didn't do when they were smaller. I reminded them of the never ending activities they all were in one time or another that frequently went on all year. I also reminded them of how they complained when we did go on short vacations.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #26
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I think it is okay to spend more on extras when you are working full time. You don't want to live too much for the future.

We have found that without megacorp jobs and hours, we can find lots of ways to live well for less, but that would have been harder to do when we were both commuting and working 40+ hours a week. Then we had more money than time.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #27
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robnplunder, I'm 20 years younger than you (and, coincidentally, about 20 years from being FI), but I absolutely expect to do something like that once my time has come. Once FI, if I don't hate my job by then, maybe I'll just keep working for a while and treat myself to some luxuries I'm currently denying myself. I'm thinking nicer used car, bespoke suit and shirts, hand-made shoes, Brioni ties, big-screen TV, fancy dining, posh travel etc. Stuff I don't really need, and will probably never have the budget for in retirement either, but that I'd like to have tried at least once.
I could of course afford some of it today, but it would severely delay becoming FI, and that's my #1 priority for the next two decades (or however long it will take).
I guess it will depend how much I dread being at work in my 50s. If I feel that I'm wasting my life in the office, I'll walk away with no regrets in my off-the rack shoes and suit, drive my used Toyota to my modest home, and watch a ballgame for free on my old laptop via an Internet streaming site.
It looks like you are very much on your way to FIRE. If this forum existed when I was 30, I would have FIRE'd 5 years ago. At age 30, I didn't have a long term investment strategy with FIRE in mind.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #28
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We have done this a bit, buying or upgrading things that were in good condition but felt like "now that we are FI, let's slightly loosen things". Also, our youngest child college expenses will likely be only 70% of what we had saved, so our "personal account" budget line item a raise from a portion of that. We have also been more generous with charities and event (weddings, graduation) gifts.

We are still LBYM, but at this point we don't think saving/investing 30-35% of our income this year vs 40%+ is going to break us.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:17 AM   #29
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It looks like you are very much on your way to FIRE. If this forum existed when I was 30, I would have FIRE'd 5 years ago. At age 30, I didn't have a long term investment strategy with FIRE in mind.
+1

I got layed off from mega-corp in my early 50s. Up until then I hadn't really given much thought to retirement other than I was saving with that as the ultimate goal. After the layoff I looked diligently for a new position and eventually ended up making about half as much in a job well below my prior level. With lots of free time, I found this forum. I discovered that with my last kid out of college DW and I were FI but at the low end of our desired lifestyle. After 2 years, I moved to a pay level higher than my old position. Now I'm the perennial OMY-er. We've repositioned ourselved for retirement. DW already has but is very busy with other things. I'm "on the edge" with any decision best made right at the beginning of the year (for tax reasons).
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #30
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Our before and afters have been very different, much to my surprise. Like the OP, I was concerned that moving onto a rigid budget after FIRE would feel oppressive. To my surprise, it actually feels decadent, even though it's more modest than what we spent pre-retirement.

The reasons are several I think.

1) We enjoyed tons of employment perks, both dining and entertainment, during our working years, and pretty much got it out of our systems. That included lots of fancy foreign travel, orchestra section theater tickets, attending NBA playoffs, the Superbowl, MLB playoffs, NHL playoffs, and pretty nice dining. (I add that not to brag, but to give a basis for where we started.) You know what? I don't miss any of it. In the absence of work related stress, I find I don't need to ratchet up the intensity of our leisure time as an offset. Less stress means we are entertained at a much less intense level these days. So, while we still do all of these things to a degree, we now do them less often, less expensively or differently. Meaning, as an example, we attend college games now, instead of professional games. Just as much fun, but a lot less expensive. The same with dining and entertainment. We do much of it now utilizing discount deals, with one or two yearly splurges rather than a dozen.

2) We now have the time to research how to do everything less expensively.

3) We now have the time to enjoy the many free things there are to do out there.

4) We now have the time to slow down and enjoy everything we do to it's fullest, meaning we no longer try to shove as many things into our day.

It's hard to explain how much changes in that first year, all of it for the better in our case, but I can tell you that concern about finances pretty much fell to the bottom of our list once we passed the one year mark.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #31
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First post here.

I have been saving all my life (51 years and ticking) and want to retire soon (around 55) before I get too old to enjoy retirement. But I am afraid that once I retire, I won't be able to spend money freely even if I have enough. So, while I have a cushy job, I am trying to live it up a little before FIRE. By this, I mean doing things that I would not normally do while I was in "save" mode: dining at top rated restaurants, buying luxury car, playing in fancier golf course, traveling abroad on tour (no backpacking), etc.. Of course, I am doing/will be doing these without reducing my future retirement fund. In fact, I will still be saving but at lesser rate and will retire with $2M in the asset. Has anyone else done this - splurging before retirement b/c once retired, you just can't (or reluctant to do so)? Opinions? Thoughts?
No. Right after I retired a friend wanted to meet me for lunch to discuss
workin$ part time from home. On the way over I keep thinking what would I do with the extra $$. None of these "luxuries" seemed worth it, they
actually seem more like traps. we are very happy with our lifestyle.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:31 AM   #32
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It looks like you are very much on your way to FIRE. If this forum existed when I was 30, I would have FIRE'd 5 years ago. At age 30, I didn't have a long term investment strategy with FIRE in mind.
Man, I sure hope you are right.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #33
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No. Right after I retired a friend wanted to meet me for lunch to discuss
workin$ part time from home. On the way over I keep thinking what would I do with the extra $$. None of these "luxuries" seemed worth it, they
actually seem more like traps. we are very happy with our lifestyle.
My experience was identical. I got a call about a job a couple of months into retirement, as did my DH, and we quickly came to the same conclusion as you. When we worked, though we didn't really understand it at the time, the quick fix luxuries alleviated the crazy level of stress our jobs created. Without the stress, we no longer 'needed' the luxuries. Quite a revelation.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:49 AM   #34
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Welcome, Robnplunder!

I am 44 and my DH is 39, so we have a bit of time. I won't go into my whole story. But, to us everything is a balance. A few years ago, I realized that the amount we were saving was really quite a bit more than we would need, even in my worst case scenarios. So, I loosened the purse strings a bit.

We have always traveled; I have never NOT traveled due to savings issues. But, we are not extravagent travelers. We go to great places, but on a budget. But in addition to that, we bought a cabin in the woods to use on weekends. It meant another mortgage, and less savings, but we've had it for 3 years now and I don't regret it for a second. It is our oasis while still working.

We go to nice restaurants, but not as much as some of our friends, and we pack our lunches. The list can go on - we enjoy life now, but still set and reach our savings goals, so that we can continue to enjoy it later.

Will I have a problem spending when I am not earning an income? Maybe. I could definitely see it as a big adjustment. But we'll have a budget that will allow for travel and other fun stuff, and if we are sticking to that budget, I think we'll be ok.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #35
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Welcome, Robnplunder!

A few years ago, I realized that the amount we were saving was really quite a bit more than we would need, even in my worst case scenarios. So, I loosened the purse strings a bit.

Thanks, very nice reply.

I have loosened up (or trying) my purse quite a bit but still keeping things in balance (I still pack my lunches, etc). My LBYM habit of 51 years is keeping things well in check.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #36
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I struggle with this also. Intellectually I understand that its all a matter of timing, but emotiionally I feel its better to spend it while still w*rking, because if its a bad decision or if I end up regretting the spend I can just do OMY to make up for it !
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #37
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I am definitely living it up BEFORE retirement. We have three trips totaling $150K in next 18 months; been saving up for almost a year for them. I have increased my travel budget at expense of additional retirement savings beyond the $43K (including employer match) that I continue to make. I will still make Roth contributions by taking money out of taxable brokerage accounts that are earmarked for retirement.

This travel also defers building up "cash" accounts to a full year's spending in preparation for retirement. So, instead of retiring at 58 it might be 59 or 60 or even longer if I still enjoy work and can travel as I want.

This is a choice we made to "practice" retirement.

Marc
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:13 PM   #38
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For me, living it up a little while earning was part of what made the hard work worthwhile. It was great to eat at the best restaurants in major cities, go to the spa, buy designer business wear, etc. These things contributed to good working relationships and getting things done, and made business travel bearable. Without those constraints, the costs of such activities don't seem worth it. In particular, eating out is something I do much more selectively now that I have the time to become a better cook. A social group that I participate in has a regular monthly restaurant visit. I've said no to the next one because the restaurant chosen has bad reviews. I would much rather invite a few friends over for dinner and make a tasty and healthy dish. That, to me, is living it up, these days.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:04 PM   #39
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I would much rather invite a few friends over for dinner and make a tasty and healthy dish. That, to me, is living it up, these days.
It is nice to have more time to cook. I have a French cook book on loan from the library right now.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #40
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I am definitely living it up BEFORE retirement. We have three trips totaling $150K in next 18 months; been saving up for almost a year for them...
Wow! I remember exchanging posts with you about your nice portfolio return this year. Still, that's a lot of money for some very posh travels, which will take a bit of time off work too.

I would not have the audacity to spend that much on travel unless I were a decamillionaire, and I got the impression from your other posts that you are not either.

Your travel plans will make a good topic for a thread on the travel forum. Hope to read about them there.
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